AEG and its members appreciate the many ways that professionals contribute to the greater good of our collective experience in our work and daily lives. Every AEG member benefits from the advocacy that the association provides during local and national legislative activities, which are funded by member dues and informed by member input and opinions. If you wish to be more involved with legislative activities that affect your profession, there are a few ways you can participate in the process.
- Follow state legislation that has been identified as relevant to AEG members by your section’s Legislative Committee chair, and provide input about the bills. For the Sacramento section, the chairs of the Legislative Committee are Millie Levin (yours truly) and Bill Frasier. The bills of interest will be posted on the AEG Blog. We welcome input and opinions about these bills via email to Millie at Mlevin@ucdavis.edu, who will bring it up for discussion with the rest of the California AEG Legislative Committee members.
- Represent AEG and meet with our legislative representatives as a group. It is very important to meet with our representatives when they are holding local district meetings so our opinions on local and national legislation have a solid foundation in the legislators’ mind. During our meeting we will be able to establish a relationship with the politician, communicate our priorities, and actively shape the policies that affect our work lives each day.
Reasons to meet with our reps:
- When our lobbyist, Judy Wolen, goes to bat for us in the future, the legislator will know the larger group that Judy is representing. Essentially, participating in district meetings will mean our association’s positions may have more influence on the actions of California representatives in statewide and national policies.
- Even if we are perfectly happy with our political representation, we can arrange a meeting to reaffirm the person’s actions and encourage continued support.
- In Sacramento, the legislative representatives that we may be interested in meeting with as a group are the Downtown Sacramento Reps:
- Your district representatives can be found using the lookup feature on this site: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
- There are many options of how to meet with our representatives.
- Town Hall Meetings
- These are events that are open to the public, are usually focused on a certain topic, and we’d have to compete with other members of the public for attention. For example, see Senator Richard Pan’s Town Hall Flyer.
- Schedule appointments with their office
- We can call their district office and schedule an appointment to meet the representative. Often instead of the representative themselves, constituent groups meet with the Chief of Staff or a staff member instead. This is just as important! A meeting typically lasts 15-30 minutes, during which time we can introduce AEG, ourselves, and our priorities.
- Attend a fundraiser
- Judy, our lobbyist, thinks that attending a fundraiser can be one of the most influential ways to meet a representative. Fundraisers are often held during the summer, and provide a meal such as a lunch or BBQ event, and may coast about $75 a head. She says it’s worth the cost to be able to meet with the representative in a small group (maybe up to 15 people total) and make an impression.
- Preferably after our group has met with a representative, we can be very effective by calling the rep’s office to have an open dialogue about topics that affect our profession.
- If the activities above sound intimidating or difficult, remember that AEG will help you in whatever way you’d like to be involved. Email me, Millie at Mlevin@ucdavis.edu, if you need help getting started. I can provide more information about the bills identified as relevant to AEG members, and I can also facilitate a successful representative meeting by coordinating pre-meeting preparations with Judy Wolen. Representative meeting preparations may include coordinating a private meeting or finding the next local town hall meeting, preparing questions to ask our representatives, and developing a one-page document to leave with the representative to remind them of our positions and contact information.
- Town Hall Meetings